The comedy site splitsider.com recently posted an interesting breakdown of Saturday Night Live casts and the various places from which members have been culled. It's no surprise that since SNL's launch in October of 1975, Chicago-based Second City and iO Theatre have provided 28 of 115 total cast members -- or 24.4 percent. That's tied with the stand-up realm and second only to "other" -- the multitude of arenas from which folks like Joan Cusack, Anthony Michael Hall, Chris Elliott and Andy Samberg were pulled.
Seasons 7 through 9, between 1981 and 1984 (during creator and exec producer Lorne Michaels' nearly ruinous absence), saw the most Chicago-trained players head east. They included Robin Duke, Tim Kazurinsky, Tony Rosato, Brian Doyle-Murray, Mary Gross and Jim Belushi.
However, writer Bradford Evans notes, "Second City/iO and stand-up have contributed the most cast members to SNL, but that's only because Lorne Michaels didn't start pulling heavily from The Groundlings until the mid-'80s and the UCB until the early '00s. While nearly a quarter of the show's total cast members have come from stand-up, the medium's dominance over SNL is confined to the stand-up boom of the '80s and '90s. Looking ahead, it seems that Groundlings, Second City, iO, and UCB will continue to make up the bulk of SNL's hires, with stand-up cast members waning and Andy Samberg's internet-to-SNL jump, so far, being a one-time thing."
Here's a rundown of iO and Second City SNLers past and present. Most trained in Chicago, some (noted with a 'T') in Toronto. The last three -- all from Chicago -- just began this season.
Dan Aykroyd (T), John Belushi, Gilda Radner (T), Bill Murray, Robin Duke (T), Tim Kazurinsky, Tony Rosato (T), Mary Gross, Jim Belushi, Brian Doyle-Murray, Martin Short (T), Nora Dunn, Mike Myers (T/C), Chris Farley, Tim Meadows, David Koechner, Nancy Walls, Horatio Sanz, Rachel Dratch, Tina Fey, Seth Meyers, Vanessa Bayer, Paul Brittain, Aidy Bryant, Tim Robinson, Cecily Strong.
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